Admissions FAQs: Senior & Sixth Form

These are some of the questions we are asked most often by parents who are considering Hereford Cathedral School for their children. Please don't hesitate to contact our Admissions team for more information on 01432 363506 or email admissions@herefordcs.com. 

Please note that due to the COVID-19 situation, we are currently not able to run our usual open events and taster days. However, if you would like to arrange a 1-1 meeting with the Headmaster, we would be very happy to arrange this either online or in person. 

Applying to join Hereford Cathedral School

When should I register my child?

When you register your child, this ensures that you will receive all of the necessary information with regards to joining the school. We accept registrations at any time of the year where spaces are available, but would advise you to register your child in plenty of time before the annual entrance interviews and examinations which take place each January, and ideally the summer before. Please note that if you require fee assistance, there is a deadline for bursary application forms which must be submitted along with your registration form (see Key Dates here).

See our Admissions Process here for more details.

Do you offer taster days?

Taster days are the ideal way to help your child get a feel for life at Hereford Cathedral School. Your child will be 'buddied' with a pupil in the same year group (or if your child is currently Year 6, they will join a Year 7 pupil for the day). We aim to put your child with someone who has similar interests and has a timetable that your child will enjoy experiencing. A taster day is completely free and lunch is also provided free of charge. A Sixth Form taster day will consist of the subjects your child is considering for their A-Levels.

When can I visit the school?

We hold a number of Saturday open mornings and open evenings throughout the year, as well as our School in Action mornings when you can see the school during a working day. All of these are great opportunities to see the school and meet our pupils and staff. You may also like to have a personal tour and meeting with the Headmaster. Please contact Admissions to register for an event or to arrange a tour. Once you have made contact with us, we will keep you up to date with upcoming open mornings, as well as special events and workshops throughout the year.

When are the important dates throughout the year?

There are a number of important admissions dates and events to put in your diary – you can find them here.

Do you offer scholarships?

We offer sport, art, drama, music and academic scholarships to recognise and reward exceptional talent which can be nurtured through an education at Hereford Cathedral School. Please click here for details of the scholarships available at 11+, 13 and 16+ and read the guidance notes before applying. 

Am I able to access fee assistance?

We offer a limited number of transformational bursaries each year to provide full financial support to families who would not otherwise be able to support their child's education at the School. We also offer partial fee assistance on a sliding scale according to the results of our means test. Please click here for more details.

Where can I find a map of the school?
Map of HCS

You will also find an interactive map with photo galleries here.

Joining the school

Is there an entrance exam and interview?

For Senior School entry: Your child will receive an invitation to attend an interview and entrance exam which usually take place across two Saturdays in January/February. The informal interview lasts around 15-20 minutes and your child will be asked to bring in an object to share. They will also be asked to read a short comprehension passage. 

The Entrance exam consists of a Maths paper, English paper and Non-verbal reasoning paper. The non-verbal reasoning paper is designed to test problem solving using visual reasoning. Year 7 pupils who perform exceptionally well will be invited back to sit the academic scholarship paper. Year 9 entry pupils will also sit a mental maths test. Year 9 pupils who wish to apply for the academic scholarship will be invited to sit the academic papers instead of the standard papers, following a reference from their current school.

For Sixth form entry: Your child will receive an invitation to attend an interview and will sit their entrance exam papers on a mutually decided date. The entrance papers will be based around your child’s A-Level options. A request can be made beforehand for your child to sit the academic scholarship papers as well. 

Can I get sample entrance examination papers?

Sample examination papers for Maths and English can be found here. Non-verbal reasoning sample papers are not available, but pupils will sit a short practice paper before attempting the real thing on the day.

How do you settle new pupils in to the school?

Many of our pupils have joined from schools from across Herefordshire or even further afield and many of these pupils come from their previous school without knowing anyone. We have plenty of fun methods to make sure your child becomes familiar with HCS and gets to know their future peers.

A taster day is a great way for your child to get to know the teaching staff, daily routine and school campus. We also offer regular workshops for Year 5 and 6 pupils who are considering joining the school. These workshops usually take place on a Saturday morning and are designed for the children to get to know each other in an interactive environment.  Previous workshops include: making lamps in DT, storytelling in Spanish, performing arts, etching and printing in Art and hands-on science experiments in our labs.

On joining the school, we offer a comprehensive induction programme including two induction days (one in June and one in September) as well as a weekend 'getting to know you' activity at the start of term (different arrangements may apply for in-year joiners).

We do understand that starting a new school can be hard at first, but many children will be in the same boat. With outstanding pastoral care at our core, you can rest assured that we will do everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Do you offer school transport?

We offer a variety of school minibus and coach services, together with concessionary rail fares for our pupils. These affordable services provide a reliable, supervised journey to and from school and in addition, help to reduce the number of vehicles on the road each morning. We have several established routes available and always look to meet the needs and requirements of parents wherever possible. For further details, click here.

Life at Hereford Cathedral School

What is a typical school day?

A typical school day starts at 8.40am and ends at 3.45pm followed by after-school clubs and activities.

Registration and morning chapel: 8.40am
Lessons 1-2: 9.15-10.20am
Break: 10.20-10.40am
Lessons 3-6: 10.40am-1pm
Lunch: 1.00 – 2.00pm
Lessons 7-9: 2.00-3.45pm (a second registration takes place in Period 7 for all pupils)

The school day ends at 3.45pm, but there are often activities or sports practices going on beyond that time, usually until around 5.15pm. On Fridays, Years 9-13 have CCF and General Studies. CCF continues until 4.45pm for Year 9 and those in Years 10-13 who opt to continue in the CCF.

What size are most classes?

In Year 7, pupils are set by ability for Maths. In English there is usually one smaller group for pupils who benefit from extra support, while other classes are mixed ability. Other subjects are also kept in mixed ability groups, although there are two streams for science at GCSE and the pupils are often set by ability in French and Spanish as well. Class sizes vary from 10 up to, for a top mathematics set, the mid-twenties. GCSE option subjects tend to have about 10 to 16 pupils. At A-Level, classes would usually be between four and 14 students.

Where do pupils go at lunchtime?

All Year 7-11 pupils eat lunch in the dining hall where our school caterers provide a high-quality catering service with a choice of two hot meals, a vegetarian option, baked potatoes, a selection of salads and sandwiches and soup. Space is also available for pupils who wish to bring a packed lunch.

Sixth form pupils have their own catering facilities within the Sixth Form centre. 

After lunch, Year 7 pupils who don’t have clubs and activities to attend can use the no-mow which is their dedicated recreation space. Alternatively, they may choose to spend time in the library or the ICT rooms. Older pupils in Year 8 and above can also visit the Castle Green. These areas are supervised by staff. 

If a pupil from Years 8-10 needs to go into town during lunch hour (after having had their lunch in the dining hall), then they need to seek written permission from their Form Tutor or the Deputy Head to do so and must sign out. Year 11 pupils are permitted to visit town without prior consent after having had lunch in the Dining Hall.

Which sports are available at the school?

All year groups have a weekly games session (1.5 hours) during curricular time. At different times, pupils will have the opportunity to play rugby/hockey, football/netball, athletics/cricket and rowing (Year 9 and above). In addition to games sessions, Years 7-9 receive an additional 60 minutes of Physical Education during the week. 

GCSE PE and BTEC Sport are available for those pupils with an academic interest in sport. We also offer an Athlete Development Programme (ADP), specialist skills sessions and sports injury review clinics with our on-site physiotherapist.


 

Can you tell me more about music at Hereford Cathedral School?

Our Music department has an outstanding reputation and a national profile, with a wide range of opportunities for all levels and interests. Our excellent programme of chamber music, ensembles, choirs and orchestras are coached by professionals each week. 

Singing is part of school life and all Year 7 pupils sing in Junior Choir as part of their timetable. Keen pupils are encouraged to join Colla Voce, a chamber choir for Years 7 and 8. As pupils go through the school, there are a whole host of opportunities to be involved in choirs. 

A large proportion of pupils at the School receive instrumental and vocal tuition and benefit from a team of over 40 well-qualified teachers. Lessons are usually during lessons or break-times and are charged as an extra on the school bill.

 

What clubs and activities are available at the school?

More information about clubs and activities and the current timetable, can be found here.

What trips do the pupils enjoy?

A list of forthcoming trips and more information regarding trips can be found here.